Book Review:”An Exquisite Legacy” by George Gibbs. Published by Potton and Burton. Price $59.9.
Reviewed by Tony Orman.
This book is the life and story of George Hudson (1867-1947 an amateur naturalist with a passion for insects, particularly butterflies and moths, whose contribution to New Zealand’s entomology was immense. He published seven books on insects between 1892 and 1950 with the smallest on Neuroptera – that of of interest to trout fly fishers. Each book was illustrated in colour with immaculate artwork, totalling over 3100 paintings. Of course other insects comprise trout food such as cicadas and George Hudson wrote of 21 species of cicadas as known to him at the time. One mayfly species, NZ’s largest mayfly species, was named Ichthybotus hudson in honour of this talented and passionate man.
“An Exquisite Legacy” was written by George Hudson’s grandson Dr George Gibbs also a prominent entomologist and author of the outstanding book “Ghosts of Gondwana”.
In “An Exquisite Legacy” George Gibbs has compiled an absorbing and warm biography of his grandfather
Incidentally George Hudson also a passionate astronomer, was the original advocate for daylight saving.
The book features George Hudson’s remarkable art work of specimen insects, with a strong emphasis on moths and butterflies. A small quibble – a full index would have been useful.
The author’s relaxed, easy-to-read text has been enhanced by the superb production by publishers Potton and Burton.